Talking tech since 2003

It’s no secret that Edward Snowden made off with a good bit of classified government information while working as a contractor. The exact amount has never been nailed down, but according to NBC News, government officials fear that Snowden has an overwhelming amount of material — enough to generate news stories for another two years.

As one official said, “The worst is yet to come.”

edward-snowdenIt’s only been five months since the Snowden/NSA saga began to unfold, and we’ve learned quite a bit in that short period of time. To imagine that we could be reading stories about leaked NSA information for another 24 months seems unbelievable. When you think about all we’ve found out thanks to the leaks and the reporting that followed, the idea that we’ve only scratched the surface transforms unbelievable into potentially worrisome. What else could the NSA be doing on our behalf?

Another interesting tidbit from the NBC report is the suspected encryption placed on Snowden’s stash of stolen NSA materials. U.S. intelligence officials believe Snowden has stored his downloaded documents in the cloud, and that the files are encrypted to the point where multiple passwords are needed to open them — passwords that are only valid at certain times of the day.

The entire Snowden story feels ripped from a Hollywood movie script, but the protections Snowden put in place for the information he took are especially spy-movie-esque. The passwords are stored with a few different individuals, and should Snowden be arrested or harmed, those holding the passwords will still be able to gain access to the entire cache of information.

Things have been quiet on the NSA front of late, which was likely the catalyst for NBC’s reporting here — people wondering, “Are the NSA stories done? Has everything newsworthy been reported on?” The answer looks to be a resounding “no,” and if a U.S. government intelligence official fears things are about to get worse for him, you can probably assume that everyday citizens aren’t going to be very happy.

We’ll keep our ears to the ground and report on any new developments.

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